The American War Bride Experience

GI Brides of World War II

1949 December 17 - Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada)

Valentina Ivanova [Scholkove] Gardner

LOSES FIGHT – Valentina I. Gardner, 28, wife of Henry F. Gardner, an ex-GI, has been denied entry to the U.S. for a second time. An immigration board of inquiry voted to exclude the Russian war bride who has been in detention in San Francisco for the past 13 months. Her attorney, Ernest Besig, said he could carry decision to the higher board of inquiry or into a federal court. Valentina S. Gardner left Yokohama, Japan onboard USAT General ET Collins arriving in San Francisco on 30 November 1948. She was 26 years old at the time.

V Gardner

Valentina arrived in San Francisco onborad the USAT Gen. E.T. Collins on 30 Nov. 1948.

1949 December 22 - Anniston Star (Anniston, Alabama)

She Answered Question Wrong,
So Bride Faces Yule In Jail

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 22 (UP) – A young White Russian was bride today faced the bleak prospect of spending her second Christmas in confinement because she once answered a question wrong. Mrs. Valentina Gardner, 27, has been held on the top floor of the U.S. appraiser’s building here for 13 months. The State Department thinks she is an “undesirable” alien.

Her husband, Henry F. Gardner, 23, a Buffalo, N.Y., veteran of South Pacific campaigns, has tried desperately to get her released. He has been allowed to kiss her only once since she came to the United States.
Gardner married the tall, attractive blonde in Yokohama on Dec 24, 1946, after Valentina and her parents had been investigated by the Army’s criminal investigation division.
When the couple comes to the United States, Mrs. Gardner had to appear before an immigration inspector, who asked her this question: “Do you believe in the principles and tenets of the present Russian government?” She hesitated, and then said, “Yes.”
Her lawyer, Wayne M. Collins says Mrs. Gardner did not understand what the work “tenets” meant. She had an eighth grade education in a Catholic convent in Japan.
In that same hearing, she was asked, “What is your personal opinion of the principles and tenets of the Communist party?” “I don’t know about it,” she replied. “I don’t think I would like it. I don’t want to go back. I think I’d be afraid. It seems rough the way the handle things there.
The American civil liberties union became interested in her case and appealed to Federal Judge George B. Harris to order the immigration department to hold another hearing.
In ordering the hearing, Harris said the original immigration report “showed a great error in the record, apparent to anyone who reads it.
The second hearing began Dec. 13 and ended abruptly the next day when the board upheld its decision to exclude Mrs. Gardner.
The board said it had “no authority” to pass on her case. It said the Secretary of State previously instructed the Attorney General that her admission would be prejudicial to the interests of the United States.
But the Gardners haven’t given up hope. Their attorney may appeal the ruling in hopes of winning another hearing. So on Christmas Day, Gardnet will be allowed to visit his wife in her room, with a matron present. If the matron is understanding, she may turn her head and let them exchange a Christmas kiss.

1949 December 23 - SAN FRANCISCO


Freedom is in sight for Valentine Gardner, war bride who has been held by immigration authorities for 13 months and who hopes it will be in time for Christmas as she sits on the sill of a window in the immigration building today, 10 floors above downtown San Francisco. A special board of inquiry recommended she be given her freedom, but final action depends on affirmance by both attorney general and state department. Henry Gardner, formerly of Buffalo, N.Y. married his whit- Russian bride in the orient.

1949 December 23 - Syracuse Herald Journal (Syracuse, New York)

2d Christmas in Custody
Faces Buffalo Man’s Bride

SAN FRANCISCO (UP) - Mrs. Valentina Gardner, 27 year old white Russian war bride who must spend her second Christmas in custody, will have another hearing to learn whether she can legally enter the United States. Wayne Collins, her attorney, said the Wayne Collins, her attorney, said the Washington office of the Immigration Department instructed a board of special inquiry to reopen the last hearing here and to pass on the merits of the case.
Mrs. Gardner entered the United States 13 months ago with her husband Henry F. Gardner, 23, of Buffalo, N.Y. She had to appear before an immigration inspector for clearance. When the inspector asked if she believed in the “tenets” of the Communist Party, Mrs. Gardner answered “yes” not knowing what the word “tenets” meant.
Collins assailed the government’s moves in the case, labeling them an “arbitrary and opporessive action to cover up a blunder of the Secretary of State and the Attorney General.” Collins said the Secretary of State ordered Mrs. Gardner excluded “at the specific request of Peyton Ford, assistant to the Attorney General.”

1949 December 24 - Billings Gazette (Billings, Montana)

War Bride Freed For Christmas

San Francisco, Dec. 23 (UP) - Beaming radiantly as she hugged the arm of her ex-GI husband, Valentina T. Gardner, 27 year old white Russian war bride, stepped out of immigration headquarters to freedom Friday for the first time since she arrived from Tokyo 13 months ago.
Her freedom to spend the holidays with her husband was a Christmas gift from Federal Judge Louis E. Goodman and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Goodman ordered her released on $1000 bond until January 9 a few hours after a special three-man board of immigration examiners reviewed her case and cleared the way for her admittance to the country. The board, however, left the final decision on her entry as a G.I. war bride to the powers-that-be in the attorney general’s office and the state department. And for a time it appeared she would have to spend her second consecutive Christmas in detention.
Valentina’s bond was put up by the Civil Liberties Union immediately after the federal court order was issued.
Wearing a mink coat, with matching hat and muff, given her by her parents in Tokyo as a going-away present more than a year ago, she took a deep breath as she stepped out of the immigration building and exclaimed: “Oh fresh air, fresh air, isn’t it wonderful!”
Her husband, Henry F. Gardner, 23 year old ex-infantryman from Buffalo, N.Y. carried a battered black suitcase and a paper shipping bag containing his wife’s belongings as they hurried to the waiting car fo a friend.

“It’s all like our Christmas dreams coming true,” he said. “It’s like a second honeymoon.”
marr. cert.

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